Marriott Courtyard Pilsen, Czechia is one of only six Marriott Rewards category 1 hotels in Europe available for 7,500 points per night. This was a fantastic deal for our 2-night stay in July 2017 when the lowest comparable flexible cancellation rate was $151 USD per night.
Prague to Pilsen transportation
Pilsen is a one hour bus ride 100 km southwest from Prague. Bus travel tends to be quite a bit faster than train travel across Czechia and Slovakia. Pilsen is 75 km from the border of Germany and about 200 km from Nuremburg, Germany.
From Prague we rode the Metro B line from Florence Metro station at the city bus terminal bus station to Zličín, the southwest terminus of the Metro. The Metro took about 20 minutes. Zličín Metro station exits into a bus station parking lot for travel to many destinations. Metro tickets cost 24 CZK ($1.08 USD) for 30 minutes of travel or 32 CZK ($1.44 USD) for up to 90 minutes of travel, including transfers for trams and buses in Prague.
Student Agency/RegioJet is the bus company we used for 100 CZK ($4.48 USD) one way tickets from Zličín to Pilsen CAN bus station.
Student Agency is top quality bus transportation service with seatback video monitors offering films, music, games. Headsets are passed out by the bus attendant and food service is available. There is also a toilet on the bus. Prague-Pilsen service is hourly all day long in each direction.
I have traveled on Student Agency buses across the Czech Republic a couple of times over the past two years. They are a Brno, Czech based company with extensive network of bus routes across Czechia and Slovakia.
CSAD Autobusy Plzen is another option with 79 CZK tickets to Zličín, or 100 CZK will book you on the bus all the way to Florence bus station in Prague. There are no amenities on these buses.
BusRadar.com is a website I use for finding bus travel options in Central Europe.
The temperature in Pilsen was around 90 F when we arrived at the bus station and we took a taxi to the hotel. The charge of 167 CZK seemed excessive to the Courtyard hotel. The taxi ride back, booked by the hotel, only cost 100 CZK.
To the city centre from the Pilsen Central Bus Station (CAN): Take trolleybus No. 11 or 12 to the Mrakodrap stop or tram No. 2 to the Republic Square (náměstí Republiky) stop. Alternatively, it is 15 minutes walk.
Náměstí Republiky, Plzen is one of the largest city squares in the country.
Marriott Courtyard is about two blocks from náměstí Republiky, the main square in Old Town Pilsen.
Marriott Courtyard Pilsen
We received a basic standard room #405 on the 4th floor of the 7-floor hotel. I have no Marriott elite status and I have been sitting on 15,000 Marriott Rewards points for a few years.
The only real complaint I had about the room is the bed pillows sucked. They were thick foam pillows and gave me a neck ache. I like a soft thin pillow.
Desk chair was comfortable, but no other chair in room.
Stuffed the empty refrigerator with beer and food from Tesco, about 15 minutes walk from hotel.
$10 in groceries from Plzen Tesco buys a lot of beer and food.
Breakfast at the Courtyard was an amount I don’t recall, but far more than the cost of eating in a local restaurant. We did not eat at the Courtyard hotel.
Not that we could tell from the view, but our room looked out to the Pilsner Urquell Brewery. However, the tree in the left foreground of the photo blocks the historic water tower, the most distinctive architectural feature of the brewery.
Pilsner Urquell is the modern brewery for the original bottom-fermented lager beer developed in 1842. Much more on the history of beer and the pivotal role Plzen played in making lager the dominant global beer type in only a few decades.
The craft beer trend is heading back to top-fermented ales with craft breweries all the rage again. I saw a few craft beer halls too in Pilsen.
Much more to come on Pilsen’s role in brewing history when I write a piece on the Beer Museum, located in a former 16th century Plzen brewery, directly across the street from Marriott Courtyard Pilsen.
The hundred or so pubs around Old Town Plzen kept us away from the Marriott Courtyard bar.
I took us to Plzen, CZ to learn about the history of lager beer and drink some pilsner lager beer from the original source.
Marriott Courtyard Pilsen and 15,000 Marriott Rewards points gave us 3 days and 2 hotel nights to meet our objective.
All in all, a worthwhile excursion to Plzen, the fourth largest city in the Czech Republic, motivated in large part by a category 1 Marriott Rewards hotel redemption opportunity.
Americans Welcome in Plzen
As an aside, Plzen was the easternmost point American troops liberated from the Nazis in battles during the final week of World War II. There is a small General Patton Memorial Museum describing in detail the American effort to liberate Pilsen. The Patton Museum is about 15 minutes walk from Marriott Courtyard.
Every year there is an annual Plzen Liberation Festival during the first week of May to celebrate the liberation of the city by Americans on May 6, 1945 – two days before VE Day and the end of the WWII in Europe.